Imagine your parents picking you up from school one day and announcing that you weren’t heading home, but to the airport. What if they told you that your name wasn’t really your name? This is what befalls Noah Keller on the day in 1989 when he and his parents leave for East Berlin. There, Noah begins his new life as Jonah Brown behind the Iron Curtain, where there are dictums like “they are always listening,” and his only friend is a secretive girl he calls Cloud-Claudia, thanks to his Astonishing Stutter. Anne Nesbet’s haunting novel Cloud and Wallfish (Candlewick, $16.99) makes a series of incredible events, separated from our time by the fall of the Berlin Wall, seem achingly real and dangerously close to home. Ages 10-13.
Cloud and Wallfish - Anne Nesbet